Businessmen from Mwanamulanje Market in Mulanje District have expressed dissatisfaction with Chambe Police Unit for releasing three suspects saying they suspect foul play in the manner the issue has been handled.
The suspects who were arrested in January this year for using counterfeit money to buy groceries at a trading centre in the district, were released on 1st February.
One of the businessmen who fell victim, Gwembere Chimtengo, expressed concern on the way the suspects were let go despite police assuring them of an investigation into the matter and its subsequent court trial.
Chimtengo, whom one of the suspects had bought cooking oil with a counterfeit K1, 000 note, said the police officers told them that they had discussed the issue with the suspects and the case was closed.
“We were called to the police station where to our surprise we found out that the suspects had been released. When we enquired for the reason, we were told they had discussed and resolved the issue,” he said.
He added that they were told that the suspects had left K10, 000 as compensation for the four business men to share so that the matter should be put to bed which he refused.
“I then demanded the K1, 000 counterfeit note back so that I could take it somewhere as evidence but the police were reluctant to give it to me,” he said.
Another business man, Steven Sande, admitted to have received the money and that he shared with the other two since Chimtengo refused.
Asked to comment on why the three were released, Mulanje Police Public Relations Officer Sargent Gresham Ngwira said his office had no knowledge of the matter and asked for time to look into it.
But in his subsequent response, Ngwira stated that the issue was, currently, being handled by the parent police station.
“Thank you for the information which at this parent station was not well known due to its nature. Currently, we have taken it up and all necessary action will be taken until the suspects appear in court,” he said.
Ngwira, however, failed to give full details of the three suspects saying they were still waiting for details from the responsible police unit.
But Chimtengo identified two of the suspects as only Charles and Makina.
Meanwhile, use of counterfeit money continues to spread as another business man, Patrict Billy, who owns a shop at Nakuyu Trading Centre is currently in possession of three K2, 000 counterfeit notes that have the same serial number AU4343277.
“The goods and my money is gone, I will never get it back. All I can do now is get the little money I have to try to boost the business again,” he said.
Mwanamulanje Market Chairperson, James Mayilosi, said he was aware of the presence of counterfeit money at the market and has since warned that if such an issue continues to exist in the area then businesses will close down.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :